Monday, March 15, 2010

This post is long. An Ode to Puter.

I’m going to venture outside of my comfort zone, yes, that would be "venting" and touch on something that happened to my family and me over the weekend.  You’ll have to bear with me as I usually try to hide my sappy-sapness underneath all my fluff and portray this hard crunchy shell exterior – otherwise known as – ‘bad-ass’.  But this weekend, we had to put our beloved Siamese cat to sleep. 

Puter, our 24 pound Siamese dog trapped in a cats body.

My fiancé and I swore up and down that he was more of a “best friend” to us than he was a cat.  He was our ‘Welcoming Committee’ anytime anyone, friend or foe, would walk through our door.  He was not prejudiced, he was not stuck up, and he was very trusting, loving and charismatic.  If he had thumbs, he would have probably welcomed you with a hug and a fresh baked tuna pie. 

I first met Puter five years ago when my fiancé and I started dating.  I was a ‘non-cat lover as my ex husband was very allergic to cats and in the 12 years we were together, his odium towards cats rubbed off on me. 

I walked through the front door of my fiancés house and within seconds, Puter was weaving in and out of my legs as if I was a new obstacle course for the testing.  He threw his body up against my shins and in one, rather impressive move; he curled his body up, positioned his head towards the floor and sort of flipped his body and slid down my feet.  Landing on the floor, he spread his legs and if he could talk, his Antonio Banderas voice would say “Everybody look at me”. 

It took me a while to warm up to the idea that Puter and I were going to have to see eye to eye.   Before sitting down on anything, I would take the cat hair roller and vigorously roll everything!  Everything.  The couches, chairs, bed, clothes, anything. It was rather rude and obsessive on my part, but I had this thing with cat hair.  I was like one of those crazed out germ-a-phobes that you see on the “WTF” channel.

It wasn’t long though that Puter had me completely wrapped around his nub (he had no front claws) and we came to an understanding.  He would randomly make me laugh by doing the things he was known for, and I wouldn’t run around rolling the furniture in front of him. 

On Saturday, we lost Puter to old age.  His system was starting to shut down and we made the choice to put him to sleep.  This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In reality, he was a staple in our family, and I am about to tell you why.  In honor of Puter I have elected to compile a “Top Five Favorite Memories” list.  A list of activities that were a part of his daily routine or, more often than not, randomness that made us laugh – hard.

5)  “Da cat cannot hold da moke – dat’s what it is”: I don’t know of a cat that doesn’t like catnip, or simply referred to as “kitty pot” in our house.  However, there was one particular evening that we gave Puter a fairly healthy dose of it.  He inhaled his share and sprawled out on the floor in his usual manner.  We poked fun at him and when he passed out, we went to bed.  However we forgot to put the bag up (out of reach).  We woke up the next morning to an O.D. of sorts.  Puter was sprawled out on his back in the middle of the living room and there was catnip all over the living room and kitchen.  Flakes of it were embedded into his fur and his eyes were rolled back into the back of his head.  The catnip bag had teeth marks in it and was completely empty.  Gone.  I think we actually heard the words “Just one more hit” come out of his mouth.

4)  “Nothing to see here”:  Our cat experienced more embarrassing moments than not.    If he pooted and you acknowledge it, he would curl up into a ball and hide his eyes.  If he fell off of something (which was often), he would act as if he meant to do it.  But the best blooper that he pulled involved the chair that he called his ‘home away from home’.  This chair was his favorite chair since he was a kitten.  It was one of those rolling dining chairs with the soft cushions that appeared in every mobile home from here to Kansas.  He would take a running jump onto the back of the chair, use his nubs to knead the back of the chair, then straddle the seatback and flop while purring up a storm.  On more than one occasion his own brute strength would get the best of him.  He would run, cheetah style, leap onto the back of the chair and in one intrepid motion the chair would flip over – tossing Puter across the room.  Of course we would feel bad for him, but only after we almost peed ourselves from laughing and carrying on like children.  We tried telling him, "Puter we're not laughing at you, we're laughing with you".  But he wasn't buying it.

3)  “So…when you said ‘no’, did you mean ‘NO’? Or just not right now?”:  Puter was forever challenging our decision to not let him eat people food.  Any meal, especially pizza or French fries, Puter felt it was his own personal invitation to join the party.  My fiancé would use his pack-leader voice to inform Puter that he needed to go to his spot (our loveseat) and mind his manners.  We would be eating and all of sudden you would see this stealth maneuver of his, tiptoeing nonchalantly past the food, stopping for a brief, yet satisfying, sniff.  “P-u-t-e-r” with dominant force coming from my fiancés mouth would signal panic into Puter and he would scatter from the scene.  Not even a minute later, here he would come again, tiptoeing across the room, and before he could even get near the goods – “PUTER!” this time more forceful and boisterous.  Like a cartoon, feet leaving puffs of smoke – he was gone.  And…again, a minute later…he came in a 3rd time in an army crawl, yes a cat army crawled.  Belly to the ground with his hind legs sprawled out behind him.  I’m not sure if he was just that much of a go-getter, or if he was experiencing short-term memory loss. 

2)  “Puter’s on one”: Every morning at 10:00 a.m. on the nose, and every evening around 9:00 p.m. Puter would do this random spastic licking/cleaning regimen followed along with this burst of energy that sent him through the house like a maggot on a hot skillet.  This usually started from the top of his kitty tower and in the blink of an eye he was off.  He would Superman through the cat door to the garage, barging through again, skidding across the kitchen entangling himself up in our vertical blinds.  Then it was off through the living room; pouncing from couch to loveseat, back to couch, back to the cat tower – into my son’s bedroom.  With hardwood floors, you could hear his back claws skidding to a stop but not in enough time before knocking over all the toys – thus spooking him back into the living room.  All followed by this animated ‘meow’.  One morning, his routine remained the same; except for some reason he opted to introduce the bathroom into his regimen.  I was sitting on my couch, observing the comical behavior when he took off towards the bathroom.  Instead of coming to a screeching halt before hitting the bathtub, he hurdled the bathtub and flew face-first into the shower curtain, bringing down the entire bathroom with him.  Shower rod ripped from the walls, soaps and soap dishes crashing to the bottom of the tub and the shower curtain plummeting down and burying him.  Either from embarrassment or from being scared out of his fur, he disappeared into the garage for some counseling and momentary reflection time.

1)  “Please pass me a tissue”:  This memory comes from my fiance.  I did not witness this but I wish I could have.  My fiancé had been away for a couple of days and upon returning home, he was welcomed with open paws and miles and miles of paper towels sporadically torn apart everywhere.  The ‘chair’ was strategically placed underneath the paper-towel dispenser and the roll was empty.  Puter and his accomplice (Baby) had partied it up while ‘Dad’ was away.  Paper towels were everywhere, ripped from the perforated edges and then mutilated into tiny bits.  Under the furniture, in the sink, across the floor – little micro-bits of paper towel in every nook and cranny.  I asked my fiancé if he was pissed when he saw the mess and he said “No, how could I be?  Puter and Baby had so much fun, and it was so funny, all I could do was laugh”.

Honerable Mentions: 1) Puter’s favorite jeans – by laying a pair of men’s jeans flat on the ground, this became a group activity for all to enjoy.  My fiancé would crouch at the leg opening and I would hold open the waist.  Puter would position himself by me and anxiously await the arrival of my fiancés finger.  My fiancé would wiggle his finger by the pant leg and Puter would hoist his hinny up, shake it and bolt through the pant leg – lodging his entire 24lb frame at the bottom of the leg – with just his head poking through.  2) Paper or plastic – Every cat is a fan of bags, or at least ours was.  Any bag really, paper, plastic, duffel – it didn’t matter.  If Puter could squeeze into it, it was perfect.  However plastic grocery bags were his preference.  During one of his love affairs with a WalMart bag, Puter managed to poke his head through the handle, while leaving the rest of his body cocooned in the bag.  Upon enticing him with a kitty treat, he popped up off of the floor and came running into the kitchen with the bag in tow, wearing it like a cape.  It bothered him at first, especially since we were laughing so hard it embarrassed him, but he eventually became accustomed to his attire and preferred to wear it.  3) Casual Friday Tie – While at Target® one afternoon, my fiancé and I ventured down the kitty aisle.  We were discouraged at the overabundance of doggy toys, treats, apparel and beds, while the cat aisle had only one or two goodies that we could make good use of.  We found these ties that were just for cats.  Really?  A tie?  We’ll take 3.  We giggled all the way home and couldn’t wait to dress Puter in his new digs.  After placing the tie on him we chortled and gawked as he sat there – pouting and grimacing at us.  “Are you fricking serious?  I’m a cat! You dressed me in a tie?”  He never meowed, he never attempted to take it off, he just sat there and took the abuse like a champ.  He was a very good sport, in our efforts to entertain ourselves at his expense.

As with any owner of a pet, everyone has stories, memories, and fond moments with their little companion.  And I’m sure that my memories weren’t all that significant, after all, cats are known to do some crazy stunts.  But Puter made it very entertaining for us.  He will be greatly missed, as he was a huge part of our lives. 

We love you ‘Bubba’!

1 comment:

  1. Soooooooooo sad. I'm sorry for you, your family (and Puter). I hope that Stinky and Puter can meet in heaven.


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